Thursday, May 17, 2007

You Owe Me

There is an old fashioned, evangelical word that describes an insight, given as a matter of grace by the Holy Spirit, into one's own character, an insight that reveals something not very pretty but also gives one hope that the same Holy Spirit will help in reforming that trait or disposition. I had one of these insights last night in a discussion I had with Carol, after we returned home from church and our respective Bible studies. Our men's group is marching through Luke, and we had covered part of "the Sermon on the Plain" in the sixth chapter of Luke. Carol and I discussed that scripture in the context of what is happening in our law office. We prayed. I was, as it were, "convicted".

Here is the particular scripture from Luke in question (but like Glenn Reynolds often says, you need to "read the whole thing")

If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

We have had some staff leave our firm over the past 12 months, people that we trained and even nurtured. My perception is that it hurt us. It made me angry with these people. After all, they owed us. They didn't do right by us. We had transferred value to them, more than they had returned, and it did not look like that we would ever get full value back. Plus the interest we deserved. (Now we are looking at more changes in firm personnel, not to my liking.)

And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.

How can this possibly work? The key verse is this one:

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

This scripture is familiar to those of us who have been raised on the Bible. (Probably too familiar.) But what I am referring to is "insight", how to make the connection between familiar scripture and present circumstances. We should know (and do know, at least intellectually) that our firm is there to serve not only our clients but also our staff. If we nurture our staff to the point where they believe that they must leave us to grow, then so be it, even if we think them wrong. Bring on the next person whom we can employ to serve our clients, whom we can expose to our values, whom we can encourage and nurture, to whom, maybe, we can give more than they can ever return. Our own source of support and encouragement comes from a third party, not from them. His resources are boundless, more than we can ever use. His blessings spill out of any sort of container we can fashion; they run over and just pour into our laps.

1 comment:

Carol said...

Amen.